Experienced users who don’t mind performing additional steps can take advantage of Bitcoin Core’s reproducible builds and the signed checksums generated by contributors who perform those builds.
Reproducible builds allow anyone with a copy of Bitcoin Core’s MIT-licensed source code to build identical binaries to those distributed on this website (meaning the binaries will have the same cryptographic checksums as those provided by this website).
Verified reproduction is the result of multiple Bitcoin Core contributors each independently reproducing identical binaries as described above. These contributors cryptographically sign and publish the checksums of the binaries they generate.
Verifying that several contributors you trust all signed the same checksums distributed in the release checksums file will provide you with additional assurances over the preceding basic verification instructions. Alternatively, reproducing a binary for yourself will provide you with the highest level of assurance currently available. For more information, visit the project’s repository of trusted build process signatures.
Bitcoin Core is a community-driven free software project, released under the open source MIT license.
What Holds For Bitcoin, Holds For Other Monies Too
It is amusing how opponents of bitcoin levy arguments against it that apply equally well to all other monies: You’re not persuasively attacking or denouncing bitcoin by stating that it has features of other well-functioning money; or refer to practices in bitcoin that regularly occur also in the currency at the top rung of the monetary ladder.
It is too expensive to transact with bitcoin!
Yes, for the times when block space has been congested and network fees high — but even then, properly considering bitcoin as a first-layer settlement media rather than a censorable third-layer fiat digital entry, it’s probably cheaper than the legacy system (Bitcoin is comparable to Fedwire, not Visa). With financial hedging and price-level uncertainty, the resource-cost debate of fiat versus hard money has clearly come out against the fiat dollar.
Bitcoin is used by criminals and money-launderers!
Yes, to a surprisingly smallextent — but more importantly: so is the dollar. The features that make a money good for us well-behaved and law-abiding citizens also make it a good money for criminals. Criminals want anonymity, transaction privacy and reliable settlement just like the rest of us — and they want to tap into the most accessible and liquid monetary network that provides those things. All monies are for enemies.
Bitcoin wallets can be hacked and funds lost!
Yes, and so can bank accounts and credit cards in the fiat world — or plain old cash if you physically lose it, or if you’re mugged on the street, or suffer the flash kidnappings that Brazil’s new fiat fast-payment system enabled. Not to mention the perfectly legal extortions that fiat banks routinely engage in: insanely slow payment mechanisms, blocked transactions, overdraft charges and below-inflation interest rates.
Find the Default Data Directory
If your data directory already contains a complete block chain and or/wallet, you may want to move it rather than start from scratch. The first step is finding the default data directory. Mac, Windows, and Linux version of Bitcoin Core each store data in a different location. The procedure described here will use a graphical file browser to find it.
On Windows 7, begin by clicking on the Windows menu. Then click your username from the right-hand menu. Windows Explorer should show a folder containing other folders such as Contacts and Desktop. Another folder, AppData is hidden by default. It can be shown by selecting the Organize -> Folder and Search options menu. From the View tab, click the “Show hidden files, folder, and drives” option, then click “OK”.
Windows Explorer should now display an AppData folder. Double click it. Then enter the Roaming folder, where the Bitcoin folder is contained.
Moving the Bitcoin Core Data Directory
Bitcoin Core runs as a full network node and maintains a local copy of the block chain. This data independence improves wallet privacy and security. Unlike some SPV wallets that leak addresses to peers, Bitcoin Core stores all transactions locally. With local access to the complete set of headers and transactions, Bitcoin Core can use full verification to tell when peers lie about payments.
However, dealing with the block chain comes at a price. An ever-growing data set causes smaller hard drives to fill up quickly. Furthermore, a new wallet can’t be used until the full block chain is downloaded and processed, which can take several hours on mid-range equipment.
These problems can be solved by moving and copying Bitcoin Core’s data directory. This article describes two approaches that can be used with either a new or existing Bitcoin Core 0.10.0 installation.